Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Heightened consciousness

Note from the sound shaman

"Unfortunately, modern psychotherapy continues to view the human mind as if it were simply a result of chemical processes in the brain. This viewpoint, in my opinion, could not be further from the actual truth. While our thoughts are made manifest by the "mechanical" action of our brain, our "mind" and our "emotions" are quite something else. We can measure the electrical changes in the body - the torso, the arms, the legs - when we think and emote. Thus, the action of thought and emotion affects our entire body system. Our thoughts and emotions are interpreted by our mind, and are generally reactions to some form of external stimuli such as sounds, images, scents, etc. It is our perception of these signals that forms the images, feelings and connections to short and long term memories.

Our western perspective on perception has forgotten, or simply ignores, a very important "reality" which is that there are other equally valid, if not somewhat uncommon, or misunderstood experiences and "perceptions" of the world around us. In ancient cultures, and with most indigenous peoples, the understanding of the world is augmented through "heightened consciousness" or "expanded perceptive abilities". To reach these levels of "super consciousness", cultures have applied various rituals and practices: meditation, chant, dance, sensory deprivation, the ingestion of plant and animal substances, etc. Through many years of training, practice, patience, and experience, the monks, sages, shamans, masters, are able to reach a level of awareness and perceptual experience, that under the microscope of modern psychoanalysis many experts would consider abnormally psychotic. In so doing, our modern society is losing (or has already lost), an opportunity, as well as a willingness to understand the true essence of who we, as human beings, really are."

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